The Secretary of State to the Ambassador of the Soviet Union (Panyushkin)1

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note No. 91 of July 22, 1949 advising that the Soviet Government has appointed Rear Admiral N. A. Piterski and Captain Second Class M. I. Vanyukin as experts to discuss the dates and procedure for the return of the three icebreakers and twenty-eight frigates “leased” to your Government under lend-lease and that these experts will depart for the United States within a few days.

The composition of the United States group designated for these discussions has changed somewhat from that made known to you in [Page 713] your conversation with Mr. Thorp of Mr. R. G. Hooker, Department of State; Captain William O. Floyd, U.S.N.; Lieutenant Commander J. C. Davis, U.S.N.; Mr. C. C. Matlock, Department of State; and Mr. M. H. Cardozo, Department of State. The United States group is ready to begin discussions immediately upon arrival of the Soviet experts in Washington.

It is the belief of this Government that, upon the conclusion of discussions concerning the icebreakers and frigates, further discussions by these experts would be desirable as to the other Naval craft listed in this Government’s note of October 7, 1948.

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Dean Rusk
  1. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Mr. Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr., recommended in a memorandum of July 26 to the Deputy Under Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, that he should sign this reply to the note of July 22 from Ambassador Panyushkin in the absence of both Mr. Webb and Mr. Thorp. He also pointed out: “The Soviet note fails to mention return of 186 other smaller Naval craft the return of which was formally demanded together with the 3 icebreakers and 28 frigates in our note of October 7, 1948, It is felt, however, that we should not press the matter of the other vessels until the details of return of the icebreakers and frigates have been agreed upon. The attached reply to the Soviet Ambassador has been drafted with this in mind.” (861.24/7–2249)